Health and Business benefits of Corporate Wellness

Although some health risk factors, such as heredity, cannot be modified, focused education and personal discipline can change other risk factors such as smoking, physical inactivity, weight gain, and alcohol use—and, by extension, hypertension, high cholesterol, and even depression. The results are worth the effort.

Howard Edward Butt Grocery, commonly referred to as H-E- B carried an internal analyses that shows annual health care claims are about $1,500 higher among nonparticipants in its workplace wellness program than among participants with a high-risk health status. The company estimates that moving 10% of its employees from high- and medium-risk to low-risk status yields a Return on Investment (ROI) of 6 to 1.

H-E-B estimates that moving 10% of its employees from high- and medium-risk to low-risk status yields an ROI of 6 to 1.

For every dollar Statistical Analysis System (SAS) spent to operate its on-site health care center in 2009, it generated $1.41 in health plan savings, for a total of $6.6 million in 2009 alone. SAS’s team-based delivery of health care is less expensive than external care. Not included in the $6.6 million figure is the benefit of employees missing an estimated average of two fewer hours per visit by receiving on-campus care. As one manager noted, “I used to have to take a half-day leave for an appointment. Now I’m in and out without missing a beat.”

Greater productivity

Illness-related absenteeism is an obvious factor in productivity. Less obvious but probably more significant is presenteeism: when people come to work but under perform because of illness or stress. Research consistently shows that cost to employers from health-related lost productivity dwarf those of health insurance.

Easy accessibility of healthcare is one of the key facets of AugmentCare’s health and wellness platform. This was evident during our Pilot at LUMS in January 2017, Students were most happy about being able to speak with a doctor in between classes and after class hours.

A 2009 study by Dr. Ronald Loeppke and colleagues of absenteeism and presenteeism among 50,000 workers at 10 employers showed that lost productivity costs are 2.3 times higher than medical and pharmacy costs. In a seminal Dow Chemical study from 2002, of the average annual health costs for a Dow employee an estimated $6,721 were attributable to presenteeism,  $2,278 to direct healthcare, and $661 to absenteeism. A variety of studies confirm the health conditions that contribute most to lost productivity: depression, anxiety, migraines, respiratory illnesses, arthritis, diabetes, and back and neck pain. Employees with multiple chronic health conditions are especially vulnerable to productivity loss.

Higher morale

Most analyses of workplace wellness programs focus on hard-dollar returns: money invested versus money saved. Often overlooked is the potential to strengthen an organization’s culture and to build employee pride, trust, and commitment. The inherent nature of workplace wellness—a partnership between employee and employer—requires trust. Because personal health is such an intimate issue, investment in wellness can, when executed appropriately, create deep bonds. Health care is a monumental issue for employers, and too much is at stake to be reactive. It’s time for companies to play offense rather than defense. A verifiable payback isn’t certain, and the journey can be arduous. But what is the alternative?

To address workplace elements similar to the ones described above, Unilever Pakistan started a Rewards and Retention program powered by AugmentCare’s technology. This program was geared towards downstream distributors and retailers as a sales incentive. Over four years, Unilever was able to increase engagement and productivity, observing a steep decline in their attrition rate: from 44% to 11%, with annual savings now amounting to PKR 1 Billion. If you’re looking to shake things up and want to evaluate AugmentCare’s fit for your organization, Get in touch!

AugmentCare

www.augmentcare.com

Reference:

Leonard L. BerryAnn M. MirabitoWilliam B. Baun. “What’s the Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs?” Harvard Business Review, 31 July 2014, hbr.org/2010/12/whats-the-hard-return-on-employee-wellness-programs.